Troubleshooting Problems Connecting to Mail Servers

SUMMARY

This blog post describes troubleshooting steps you can use to help you diagnose problems that may occur when you connect to your Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) or POP3 mail server with Internet Mail. For example, this article may be useful if you receive the following error message:
The connection to the server has failed.

MORE INFORMATION

SMTP and POP3 Server Settings
Microsoft supports configuring Internet Mail to connect to one SMTP and one POP3 mail server. The default port addresses for SMTP and POP3 connections in Internet Mail are 25 and 110, respectively.

If you experience problems connecting to your mail servers, make sure that your SMTP and POP3 server port settings are correct. You can check your current port address settings or configure Internet Mail to use different port addresses using the following steps:
1. Click Options on the Mail menu in Internet Mail, click the Server tab, and then click Advanced Settings.
2. Change the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server and Incoming Mail (POP3) Server settings as needed, click OK, and then click OK again.
3. Close and restart Internet Mail.

TCP/IP Settings

Use ALL of the following troubleshooting methods to ensure that your configuration settings are correct and that your dial-up connection is functioning properly.

Method 1:

Test the integrity of your local Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) stack integrity, by pinging the appropriate (loopback) Internet Protocol (IP) address. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click MS-DOS Prompt.
2. Type the following command at the command prompt:

ping 127.0.0.1

If you cannot ping this address, remove and reinstall the TCP/IP protocol.

For information about TCP/IP, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, type TCP/IP, and then double-click the TCP/IP topic you want to view.

Method 2:

Test your TCP/IP settings by pinging a known good Internet site. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click MS-DOS Prompt.
2. Type the following command at the command prompt

ping

where is the name of a known good Internet site.

If you can successfully ping the IP address in Method 1, but you cannot ping this address, check your TCP/IP settings to ensure that TCP/IP is properly configured.

For information about TCP/IP, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, type TCP/IP, and then double-click the TCP/IP topic you want to view.

Method 3:

Make sure that Domain Name Service (DNS) resolution is functioning by pinging the Microsoft FTP server. To do this, use the following steps:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click MS-DOS Prompt.
2. Type the following command at the command prompt:

ping ftp.microsoft.com

If you can successfully ping the IP addresses in methods 1 and 2, but you cannot ping this address, check your DNS settings to ensure that DNS is properly configured.

For information about DNS, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, type DNS, and then double-click the DNS topic you want to view.

Method 4:

Verify that mailer daemons are responding on their specified ports by using Telnet commands. To do this, use the following steps:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, and then click MS-DOS Prompt.
2. Type each of the following command and press ENTER after each one:

telnet

telnet

where and are the names of your SMTP and POP3 servers, and is the port address used by your SMTP and POP3 servers.

If you do not receive a “ready” response from these Telnet commands, try to ping the host names of the SMTP and POP3 servers individually. If you cannot ping the host names of the SMTP or POP3 server, try using the numeric equivalents, if you know them.

If you cannot ping the numeric addresses, but methods 1 through 3 are successful, contact your Internet service provider to verify that the mail servers are available and that your mail server information is correct.
Additional query words: 1.00
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Technology : kbIMNSearch kbIMN100Win95

Other Important Info: I just discovered why mail was not being sent from some of the ASP servers. It was broken on machines that have 2 NICs installed. The trick is to open the Properties dialog on the SMTP Virtual Server in IIS and make sure that the IP Address is set to the NIC you want the mail to go out on. Once I set the IP for the SMTP service on the ASP servers to point to the public NIC, then the mail started going through.

Other Important Info: While attempting to write up the instructions you asked for, I discovered that I had not “Default SMTP Virtual Server” entry in my IIS Manager. I have seen this on several other machines, but couldn’t figure out why. Now I know…it was all Exchange 2000’s fault.

I added Exchange 2000 connectivity components to my machine so I could perform the regular network tape backups and connect to the Exchange Information Store with the W2K Backup application. When I removed these components, I got back my Default SMTP Virtual Server entry in IIS Manager.

So, the scoop is, if you have Exchange 2000 components installed on your machine, your IIS SMTP Virtual Server gets nixed